Saturday, November 05, 2005

Human Progress, 2005 A.D.

2005, the year of a great human invention: the ketchup bottle that opens on the bottom.

On the timeline of human progress, the bottom-opening ketchup bottle comes after man on the moon, after DNA chips, after MRI and carbon nanotubes.

It is indeed a great human advance, but it's most troubling that it took so long. Heinz introduced ketchup in 1876. Are we sure we're the smartest species on the planet? Maybe the box of rocks is underrated.

For over a century, millions of people have inverted their ketchup bottles and, as their steaming burgers cooled, stared impatiently for that last dollop ketchup. Then "voila!" a tomato falls on someone's head and "presto!" there it is. Why didn't we think of it earlier?

It's such a "Duh!" It's the Mount Everest of "Duh!" It's "Duh!" so extreme it turns life into a Seinfeld episode. Now we're forced to stare at it. The plastic wonder sits on our tables, taunting us, forcing us to question beliefs in own ingenuity.

As we imagine the inventor living a carefree life in the Bahamas, the George Costanza in us screams, "I coulda thought of that, Jerry! I coulda thought of that!"


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